As the 150th anniversary of the evangelization of the country is marked, the Church in Taiwan is encouraging the laity to be a “bridge Church” with the Chinese mainland, reach 15,000 baptisms in 2009 and bring back to the faith those who have fallen away.
L’Osservatore Romano reported that Father Francesco King, Vicar of the Diocese of Taipei, explained that the evangelization initiative is how the Church in that country is marking the occasion.
With Catholics comprising about 1.42% of Taiwan’s population or 300,000 people, Father King said the Taiwanese faithful are called to “make their contribution to purifying society, carrying out initiatives to raise awareness among the people.” The bishops of the country believe that society “needs the comfort” of the Church, according to Fr. King, who pointed out that in order to fulfill this mission, Catholics must “enter into today’s world.”
The vicar also explained that “the seven dioceses of Taiwan, the parishes, the associations, the Catholic schools, the hospitals and our faithful are organizing a series of initiatives and we are already beginning to see the results.”
The contribution of the laity is vital for the Church to carry out this mission in the country, Father King added. The LOR explained that the faith was brought to Taiwan in 1859 by three Spanish priests who traveled there from the Philippines and five Chinese catechists who arrived at Kaohsiung.